The market for gaming headsets features fierce competition from a wide array of vendors, each fighting for their cut of the lucrative video game player mindshare. While most companies market and sell their products using a list of features, RGB lights, and accessories, the Audeze Penrose headset is a bit different. It pushes in a different direction, instead focusing on the audio quality produced by its planar magnetic drivers.
Our Video Editor Greg Burke got a chance to speak with Jaren Cloud, Marketing Director at Audeze, about this new headset and what it can offer customers that its rivals cannot.
Audeze made its name among headphone enthusiasts years ago on the back of their products featuring planar magnetic drivers. They first entered the gaming market a couple of years ago with their Mobius headset. It had planar magnetic drivers and a novel 3D head tracking system that could change output based on how the user’s head was positioned. The new Penrose headset retains the planar magnetic drivers from the Mobius but omits the head-tracking feature to save on costs. The Penrose offers the same great audio quality at a fraction of the cost of the Mobius.
The planar magnetic drivers in the Penrose are unique in the gaming headset world, where virtually all other options make use of conventional dynamic drivers. Unlike dynamic drivers, which use a coil of wire to push a speaker cone in and out, planar magnetics spread the wire across the entirety of their large, thin drivers. This conductive array is manipulated by an electromagnetic field generated by the audio signal that manipulates the driver.
While planar magnetics are typically larger in size and require more power to operate, they are known for offering less distortion than dynamic drivers, as well as being able to move faster, resulting in smoother playback of hectic or crowded audio passages. Where conventional headphones may start to muddy up during complex, uptempo jazz tracks, planar magnetics can keep their cool and quickly push out clean bass, mids, and highs.
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Chris Jarrard posted a new article, Audeze interview: Why the Penrose headset is a game-changer
Those are pretty high end headsets. The price is super high for the "console" market IMO. I guess you get what you pay for though.